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Conservation of subterranean biodiversity: How far serious Are We ?. Dr. Jayant Biswas National Cave Research and Protection Organization. Central Zone, Raipur, India. What is Cave?. A large, naturally-occurring cavity formed underground, or in the face of a cliff or a hillside.

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Conservation of subterranean biodiversity: How far serious Are We ?


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    1. Conservation of subterranean biodiversity: How far serious Are We ? Dr. Jayant BiswasNational Cave Research and Protection Organization. Central Zone, Raipur, India

    2. What is Cave? • A large, naturally-occurring cavity formed underground, or in the face of a cliff or a hillside.

    3. What is Cave? The stalactite is above, and hangs downward like an icicle; the stalagmite is below and sticks up. They grow in pairs, the slightly acidic water dissolves some of the limestone, carrying it downward. When the water evaporates, the limestone appears to have flowed downward. Some of the water does not evaporate until it has fallen through the air, and landed on the floor, the remaining limestone building the stalagmite. Sometimes the stalactite is missing, as they sometimes break off and fall; you will often see their pieces on the floor. Or human visitors may break them off, and take them away. Often, the stalactite and stalagmite will connect, and become a column.

    4. Characteristics of Cave Ecosystem • Perpetual darkness • Almost constant geophysical factors • High humidity • Low energy input • Negligible Predatic Pressure. • Hypogean organism = Cave or subterraneana animal/organism/species/population • Epigean organism = animal/organism/species/population found in natural day length conditions. • Cavernicoles =Cave adapted animal/organism/species/population • Biospeleology = Cave Biology (biology of the cave adapted animals)

    5. Why we have to think about theCave Biodiversity or itsConservation? • In the recent years the technological progress and the need to occupy new spaces and resources i.e., to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population, man is impacting natural environments and the diversity of living resources unethically in a random way. The questions raised by this tendency vary considerably, as do the possible responses, depending upon the need and choices of particular states in their approach to economic development. Ultimately, it is a matter of implementing strategies for conservation so as to preserve the natural patrimony as the heritage of future generations.

    6. Why to bother about such underground cavities? • caves are storehouses of information on natural resources, human history and evolution. Therefore, many avenues of research can be pursued in caves. Recent studies indicate that caves contain valuable data that are relevant to global climate change, waste disposal, groundwater supply and contamination, petroleum recovery, and biomedical investigations.

    7. Why to bother about such underground cavities? • Caves also contain data that are pertinent to anthropologic, archaeologic, geologic, paleontologic, and mineralogic discoveries and resources.

    8. Why to bother about such underground cavities? • Many researchers have turned to caves as natural laboratories where paleo-climatic evidence has been naturally deposited over the eons and is awaiting discovery. For example, the recently discovered Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico has excited scientists with the possibilities of gaining insight into global warming from analyses of materials found there.

    9. What are Cave Animals (Cavernicoles) Classification used to categorize the organisms (Sket 2008) • Trogloxene: species only occurring sporadically in a hypogean habitat and unable to establish a sustainable subterranean population. This tendency may be for regular feeding or to take temporary/permanent shelter.

    10. What are Cave Animals (Cavernicoles) Classification used to categorize the organisms (Sket 2008) • Subtroglophile: species inclined to perpetually or temporarily inhabit a subterranean habitat but is intimately associated with epigean habitats for some biological functions on a daily (e.g., feeding) or seasonal (e.g., reproduction) basis.

    11. What are Cave Animals (Cavernicoles) Classification used to categorize the organisms (Sket 2008) • Eutroglophile: essentially epigean species able to maintain a permanent subterranean population and could be referred as future troglobites..

    12. What are Cave Animals (Cavernicoles) • Classification used to categorize the organisms (Sket 2008) • Troglobites: an obligate troglo-species, strongly bound to hypogean habitats, generally fails to survive in epigean (surface) environmental conditions.

    13. Where the Cave Animals occur ? • The twilight zone near the entrance where light intensity, humidity and temperature vary. This zone is occupied by a variety of fauna, particularly by species belonging to the habitual and the accidental trogloxene categories.

    14. Where the Cave Animals occur ? • The transition zone of almost complete darkness with variable humidity and temperature. This zone has been found to be occupied permanently by species which generally can also survive in the external world. Habitual trogloxenes along with a few varieties of troglophiles dominate this zone.

    15. Where the Cave Animals occur ? The deep zone of complete darkness with almost 100% humidity and constant temperature. This zone seems to be occupied by specialist cave-adapted species which are generally unable to survive on the external epigean environ-mental conditions. Zone is dominated by the troglobites.

    16. Where the Cave Animals occur ? • The stagnant zone of complete darkness with 100% humidity and where there is little air exchange, and CO2 concentration may become high. Species required higher degree of necessary adaptations to survive in this zone.

    17. Theoretical Concepts behind the Evolution of Cavernicoles. • Neo- Lamarckism • Cavernicoles have been modeled by the subterranean medium and this is responsible for their specialized characteristics. • Mutationism • The origin of the cavernicoles can be called the “Accidental Theory”. • Organicism • The origin of evolution must not be looked for in the organism itself and not at all in some external factor (medium or selection). • Pre-adaptationism • Animal become randomly preadapted to all sorts of environment and can survive only in the environment to which they preadpted.

    18. History of Biospeleological works in India • Siju Cave of West Garo Hills followed by few Caves of Khasi Hills. • Kemp, Chopra and Hodgart of the Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata. • Andrewes, 1924; Annandale and Chopra, 1924; Blair, 1924; Brunetti, 1924; Cameron, 1924; Carpenter, 1924; Chopard, 1924; Chopra, 1924; Edwards, 1924; Fage, 1924; Fletcher, 1924; Fleutiaux, 1924; Gravely, 1924; Hora, 1924; Kemp, 1924a; Kemp, 1924b; Kemp and China, 1924; Kemp and Chopra, 1924; Lamb, 1924; Meyrick, 1924; Ochs, 1925; Patton, 1924; Roewer, 1924; Rohwer, 1924; Silvestri, 1924; Stephenson, 1924; Wheeler, 1924, Chopard, 1924; Silvestri, 1923

    19. Major Biospeleological works in India Kotumsar/Dandak Cave/Mandhip Khol: Chhattisgarh (Madhya Pradesh), India Sinha, 1976; 1977; 1978; 1981; Sinha and Agarwal, 1977; Bhargava, Jain and Singh, 1984; Pradhan and Agarwal, 1984; Pradhan, Pati and Agarwal, 1989; Biswas, 1990; Skalski, 1990; Skalski, 1992; Kottlet, 1990; Biswas, 1991a,b; Biswas, 1992a,b; Biswas, 1993; Biswas and Kanoje, 1991; Biswas and Pati, 1991; Biswas, Pati, Pradhan and Kanoje, 1990; Biswas, Pati and Pradhan, 1990a,b,c; Biswas and Ramteke, 2008; Biswas, 2010; Biswas and Shrotriya, 2010; Biswas, Shrotriya and Sasmal, 2010 Pati and Agrawal, 2002; Agrawal, 2008; Reddy, 2006; Reddy, Defaye, 2009; Messouli , Holsinger and Reddy 2007; Rosario, Iolanda and Biswas, 2009.

    20. Subterranean Biodiversity in India Common Trogloxenes

    21. Subterranean Biodiversity in IndiaCommon Subtroglophiles found in India Rhinolophus Hiiposideros Hystrix indica Aerodramus brevirostris Python Molurus Hydrophylux malabaricus

    22. Subterranean Biodiversity in India • Arachnida (Huntsman Spiders) • Heteropoda robasta Fage, 1924 • (caves of Garo & West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya) • Heteropoda fischeri Jager, 2005 • (caves of Jantia Hills, Meghalaya) • Heteropoda venatoria Linnaeus, 1767 • (caves of Kanger Valley National Park, Chhattisgarh) • Eutroglophiles

    23. Subterranean Biodiversity in India • Arachnida -Opiliones (Harvestman) Unidentified sp. (caves of Jantia Hills, Meghalaya) Troglobiont Unidentified sp. (caves of Jantia Hills, Meghalaya) Eutroglophiles Unidentified sp. (Mandhip Khol Cave, Chhattisgarh) Eutroglophiles

    24. Subterranean Biodiversity in India Brachyura (Crabs) Maydelliathelphusa falcidigitis Alcock, 1910 (throughout the caves of Meghalaya) Eutroglophiles Palaemonidae (Shrimp)Macrobrachium hendersoniDe Man, 1906 (Siju cave, Meghalaya) Eutroglophiles Macrobrachium cavernicolaKemp, 1924 (throughout the caves of Meghalaya) Troglobiont

    25. Subterranean Biodiversity in India • Isopoda (Woodlice) Porcellio assamensis Chopra, 1924 Cubaris cavernosus Collinge, 1916 Philoscia dobakholi Chopra, 1924 Burmoniscus kempi Collinge, 1916 (throughout the caves of Meghalaya) Troglobiont/Eutroglophile • Isopoda (Pillbug) • Armadillidium sp. (Caves of Kanger Valley National Park) Troglobiont

    26. Subterranean Biodiversity in India • Chilopoda (Centipede) Thereuopoda ?longicornis Fabricius 1793 (Kotumsar Cave of Chhattisgarh) (Caves of Jantia Hills, Meghalaya) Troglobiont/Eutroglophile

    27. Subterranean Biodiversity in India • Diplopoda (Millipede) Trachyiulus mimus, Silvestri, 1924 (throughout the caves of Meghalaya) Eutroglophile Assamodesmus lindbergi, Manfredi, 1954 (Mawkhyrdop cave, Meghalaya) Troglobiont Unidentified (Kotumsar Cave of Chhattisgarh) Eutroglophile Glyphiulus cavernicolus, Silvestri, 1923, (un-named caves of Madurai) Troglobiont

    28. Subterranean Biodiversity in India • Orthoptera (Crickets) Eutachycines brevifrons Chopard, 1916 (throughout the caves of Jantia Hill of Meghalaya) Eutroglophiles Eutachycines caecus Chopard, 1924 (throughout the caves of Jantia Hill of Meghalaya) Troglobiont Kempiola longipes, Chopard, 1924, (Siju Cave, Meghalaya) Eutroglophiles

    29. Subterranean Biodiversity in India • Orthoptera (Crickets) Archnaminus sabatalus, Chopard 1970 (caves of state Basyar, Jagdalpur, India) Eutroglophiles Kempiola shankari, Sinha & Agarwal, 1977 (Caves of Kanger Valley National park, C.G.) Eutroglophiles

    30. Subterranean Biodiversity in India • Dictyoptera (Cockroaches) Typhloblatta caeca Chopard, 1921 (caves of Jantia Hills of Meghalaya) Troglobiont Typhloblatta sp. (unidentified) (caves of West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya) Troglobiont • Diptera (Flies) Typhloblatta caeca Chpard, 1921 (caves of Jantia Hills of Meghalaya) Troglobiont

    31. Subterranean Biodiversity in India • Lepidoptera (Guano moth) Tinae antricola Meyrick, 1924, Tinae pyrosoma Meyrick, 1924, (Siju cave, Meghalaya) Troglobiont Opogona pandora Meyrick, 1911 (unknown cave of Meghalaya) Kangerosithyris kotumarensis Skalski 1992 (caves of Kanger Valley National Park, C.G.) Troglobiont

    32. Subterranean Biodiversity in India Gastropoda Opeas cavernicolaKemp & Chopra, 1924, (Siju cave, Meghalaya) Troglobiont Opeas sp. (Kotumsar cave, Chhattisgarh) Eutroglophile

    33. Subterranean Biodiversity in India Pisces (Fish) Nemacheilus evezardiDay, 1924, (Kotumsar cave, Chhattisgarh) Eutroglophile /Troglobiont Schistura papuliferaKottelat et al.,2007 (caves of Jantia Hills, Meghalaya) Eutroglophile Glyptothorax sp. & Cyprinidae spp. Eutroglophile Devario aequipinnatus McClelland, 1839 (Belum Caves of Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh). Eutroglophile

    34. Subterranean Biodiversity in India • Pisces (Fish) (groundwater species) Horaglanis krishnai Menon 1950 (Groundwater; Well, Kerala) Troglobiont Horaglanis alikunhiiSubashbabu & Nayar 2004(Groundwater; Well, Kerala) Troglobiont Amphinous indicusSilas & Dawson 1961  (Mahabaleshwar/Robbers/Kanheri caves, M.S.) Troglobiont

    35. Subterranean Biodiversity in India • Pisces (Fish) (groundwater species) Monopterus eapeniTalwar, 1991 (Groundwater; Well, Kerala) Troglobiont Monopterus   roseni   Bailey & Gans, 1998 (Groundwater; Well, Kerala) Troglobiont Monopterus   digressus   Gopi, 2002 (Groundwater; Well, Kerala) Troglobiont

    36. Subterranean Biodiversity in India • Groundwater small Arthropod species • Indoniphargus indicus (amphipod) West Bengal, manmade cave Chilton, 1923 • Schizomus sijuensis ( Meghalaya, Siju cave Gravely, 1924 • Nichollsia kashiense (isopod) Varanasi, U.P. ground water Chopra & Tiwari, 1950 • Elaphoidella crassa (copepod) Chappuis, 1954 • Nichollsia menoni (isopod) Munghyr, Bihar, ground water Tiwari 1958 • Spelaeomysis longipes (mysiid) Kottayam, Keral, ground water Pillai & Mariamma, 1964 • Troglindicus phreaticus (Decopod) Sankolli & Shenoy, 1979 • Indocandona krishnakanti (Ostracod) Bihar, ground water Gupta, 1984 • Haplocyclops fiersi (copepod) Karanovic & Reddy, 2005 • Bogidiella indica (amphipod) Andhra Pradesh, ground waterHolsinger, Reddy & Messouli, 2006 • Kotumsaria bastarensis (amphipod) Chhattisgarh, cave Messouli et al., 2007 • Indocandona nagarjunai (Ostropod) Andhra Pradesh, ground water Karanovicand Reddy, 2008 • Parastenocaris kotumsarensis (copepod) Chhattisgarh, Kotumsar cave Reddy & Defaye, 2009 • Order Palpigradi (Micro Whipscorpions) Family Eukoeneniidae Allokoenenia • Order Acari SUBORDER PROSTIGMATA (AQUATIC) Family Hygrobatidae Hygrobates • Order Acari SUBORDER PROSTIGMATA (AQUATIC) Family Limnesiidae Kuwamuraarus • Order Acari SUBORDER LANIATORES Family Assamiidae Sijucavernicus, Metassamia,Calloristus

    37. Zoogeographical status of small Arthropods

    38. Why to Protect or Conserve the Subterranean Fauna? Cultural/Scientific Motivation We use the term Culture in a regular fashion in our daily life, but from scientific point of view it is important: Accumulation and transmission of knowledge. Producer of conceptual structures which help humans to understand the reality of the world they inhabits. The extension of social institution and human traditions, an important factor for the acquistion and preservation of knowledge.

    39. Why to Protect or Conserve the Subterranean Fauna? Practical / Economical Aspects. • Groundwater inhabiting Microcrustaceans especially can be used as environmental descriptors as they offer information about the state of Groundwater ecosystem (Dole-Olivier et al. 1993). Somewhere this approaches are of high economic advantage to environmental monitoring programmes • Using the taxonomic diversity of harpacticoids one can document the origin and the dynamics of the water within the flooded karst, with the possibility to differentiate between the water coming from the main drain and those of lateral reserves (Rouch, 1986). • Microcrustaceans can be used also for toxicity monitoring, because the toxic sensitivity of stygo/tyroglobiotic microcrustaceans are seen to be higher as compared to its epigean counterparts.

    40. Why to Protect or Conserve the Subterranean Fauna? Ethic and Aesthetic value. • A philosophical view:animals in their natural environment have to be protected following the rules we apply to humans. We should not accept the systematic elimination of subterranean organisms that since innumerable generations live in equilibrium with their environment. Just think; can we live comfortably with the idea of the exhaustion of natural resources? (Dasgupta, 2001)

    41. Some Apparent Disasters of Subterranean Biodiversity • Though the Karst system has low self-purification capabilities, contaminated water enters the cave through various conduits (coming under the mining block). This is not only dangerous for the cave biota, but is also responsible for the collapse of important conduits of the same zone. During mining, leakage from machines (hydrocarbons), other chemicals and even explosives are some of the major and potential sources of contamination.

    42. Some Apparent Disasters of Subterranean Biodiversity • Domestic sewage is also polluting the cave aquatic system. Regular discharge of organic/inorganic domestic sewage from the adjacent human colonies enters this cave. High flooding during the monsoon provides clinching evidence of cloth and polythene clinging to sidewalls and ceiling of the cave Nondegradable items like polythene pieces not only contaminate the cave environment, but also block several conduits and the major streams.

    43. Some Apparent Disasters of Subterranean Biodiversity • The cave entrance is the only major input site of the potential food influx. Species diversity has always been reported manifold in the cave entrance. Nevertheless, the main entrance of the Mawkhyrdop cave is more or less the key point through which the cave gets polluted.

    44. Some Apparent Disasters of Subterranean Biodiversity Biswas Jayant 2009 The biodiversity of Krem Mawkhyrdop of Meghalaya, India, on the verge of extinction. CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 96, NO. 7, 10 APRIL 2009

    45. Some Apparent Disasters of Subterranean Biodiversity Ilona Jacinta Kharkongor (Scientist-B; ZSI- Shillong). Krem Liat Prah-Um Lm-Labit is the most biodiveristy riched cave of Meghalaya.

    46. How to Protect Subterranean Biodiversity • Conservation will only possible by in-situ management process. Remedies

    47. How to Protect Subterranean Biodiversity

    48. Burning Issue Impact of Glogal Warming on Subterranean Caves In an alarming sign that global warming is an immediate and present reality, an ancient ice cave located at Lake Inari has melted this year for the first time in living memory. The cave, located on Finland’s island of Korkia-Maura has been a traditional Saami site for the summer storage of food such as fish and game for generations.

    49. Destructive Fungal growth spoiling the Cultural Heritage: Rising temperatures have stopped the air circulating in the caves. This has given the ever present fungus, algae and bacteria a chance to spread, threatening the archeological works of art, which are between 15,000 and 17,500 years old. Geologists, biologists and other scientists convened in Paris to discuss how to stop the spread of fungus stains - aggravated by global warming - that threaten France's prehistoric Lascaux cave drawings. Black stains have spread across the cave's prehistoric murals of bulls, felines and other images, and scientists have been hard-pressed to halt the fungal creep.

    50. Cogitation ?